During Mardi Gras Season, one way to beat the traffic and parking issues is to pump up your bicycle tires for a quick and easy ride downtown. There are a lot of misconceptions about where someone should ride their bicycle. But the law is pretty clear. A bicycle should be considered like any other vehicle and travel down the road with the flow of traffic, in the far right lane, and as close to the fog strip as you deem safe. Never ride against traffic, and never ride in the center turn lane. And if the sidewalk is crowded, it can be very dangerous for pedestrians if you ride there.
We’ve handled many bicycle accident cases over the years, and a common thing we hear from the defendant is “I never saw him,” or “I didn’t see him until it was too late.” Those drivers were still responsible for the accident, but making sure you are as visible as possible is of extreme importance. One way to ensure visibility, is to wear lights. If you are riding your bike at night, it’s the law that you have a light on the front of your bike, as well as the back of your bike. You can pick these up at any sporting goods store or bike store in town. The other thing you can do is wear brightly colored clothing, or even a reflective vest. Many drivers have experienced coming up on a bicyclist who is wearing dark clothing or doesn’t have any lights on, and you really can’t see them until it’s almost too late. Helmets are required by law for anyone under 16, but really anyone riding a bicycle, especially during Mardi Gras, should consider wearing a helmet. Another important thing to remember is a bike lock. There are a lot of bikes stolen during parades at Mardi Gras. So make sure you lock your bike up to something secure with a strong lock, that can’t be easily broken.
Some other tips for using bicycles this Mardi Gras season is to avoid bicycling drunk. You could end up hurting someone, and possibly get a ticket. Also, make sure to get off your bike and walk it if you are navigating through dense crowds
In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a bicycle related accident, be sure to call 911 and have the police write an accident report. Next, seek medical treatment at an ER or Urgent Care facility. If you are bicyclist and a vehicle hits you, you have grounding to seek damages from the driver’s insurance company. And as always, be sure to call a lawyer that handles this type of case. At Greene & Phillips, there are no up-front fees to hire one of our attorneys. We only get paid if we are able to get money for you.
If you think you may have a case or you have further questions, we can be reached by phone at (251) 300-2000, on our website at www.GreenePhillips.com, or feel free to drop by our office anytime at 51 North Florida Street. You never need an appointment!